Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rant (Don't say I didn't warn you)

First of all, merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Things got a little strange this year because there was an illness (several, if you count the various stomach bugs that have been going around) and uncooperative work schedules, so Christmas was three days late for us.  You might think, then, that we'd have been able to take advantage of post-Christmas sales, but remember what I said about the Dutch not really doing Christmas?  Yeah...they don't do post-Christmas, either.  As for why no photos...well, first I forgot to bring my camera, and secondly, I was sick for the big present night with a 24-hour bug that completely wiped me out for pretty much all of "Christmas day"--that, and I'd stayed up until 4 am making boxes the night before, but that's another story for another time...

There is one thing I've learned about myself this year:  I fucking hate sanctimommies.  You know what I mean--the smug, hindsight-is-20/20 women (they're men, too, but I find the most offensive ones to be women, if only because I am a woman) who tell you what you should have done three days after the fact, and then counter with their own example of their perfect child in their perfect home and perfect life--because we had it all planned out, they invariably say.  Becuase in their world, lives never go astray from the playbook and things always go according to plan. And in the meantime, the milk is still spilled and they're still not helping you get a rag to wipe it up with.  Like that woman in the V&D, who was tsk-tsking me as I was precariously balancing a tray on top of the kidlet's stroller while trying to pay for the food, when it would have taken her two seconds to get off the chair and offer to help with the tray, or call someone over.  Now, don't get me wrong--I'm not saying that I expected this.  Only that if she was going to tsk-tsk me, she'd have more of a leg to stand on if she had.  They oughta make a rule, though, that if you aren't doing anything to help the situation, you don't have a right to complain about it.  

Seriously:  just think of how many annoying-ass posts about kids, weight loss, being poor, etc. in general that would eliminate. Think of how many people would suddenly have to shut the hell up about poverty as they come to terms with the fact that every poor person they know works harder than they do just to keep food on the table, never mind the lights on.  Think of how many people would suddenly stop whinging about fat people taking up space on the plane when they realize how hard it can be to lose five pounds.  Think of how many "OMG THIS KID WAS BEING SUCH A BRAT" posts you could avoid reading if the only way you could post about it was to help comfort the little brat (and then realize that he his daily schedule got thrown out of whack on this one day because dad got sick and couldn't go to work, etc).

Don't get me wrong--I completely understand venting to your partner about a terrible flight with a screaming kid, and sometimes (like when I see a teen mom giving her baby blue drinks) there's nothing you really can do about a situation.  But I think having this rule would not only teach a lot of sanctimonious jackoffs that a) compassion is a lot harder than sitting through a sermon, b) the life of others isn't under their control, and c) people generally do try.  They might not have the means or the knowledge to do right, but they generally do try, and that, I think, is important to remember.  Most people don't try to be stupid or make bad decisions.  But the fact that they do anyway should really make us (the privileged classes) more aware of just how close we are to "failing", ourselves.  As the Baz Luhrman line goes:  "Don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.  Your choices are 50:50.  So are everyone else's."

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